Her desire to pursue higher education served as Jessi’s motivation for joining the Army. As a 17-year old who weighed all of 100 pounds, she had plenty of doubters as to whether she could complete basic training. Undeterred, not only did she make it through, she became the first female Soldier of the Quarter by winning a five-day, 11-event grueling competition among 4,000 troops. Suddenly, nobody doubted what Jessi could accomplish.
Jessi served six years, including four on active duty and served a 13-month deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. When her service was complete, she attended UC-Santa Barbara and graduated with cum laude and dean’s honors with a Bachelor of Arts.
Jessi is a knowledgeable veteran advocate, an experienced mentor and tutor for homeless children, possesses an expert understanding in public services and is fluent in both written and spoken Mandarin-Chinese. Through leadership positions in nonprofit organizations such as Vets4Vets, Student Veterans of America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, she has assisted veterans coping with physical disabilities, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse.
Upon completing her studies, Jessi is committed to a life of public service and plans to work to enhance the social services available for those who are negatively affected by war.